….tales of taste and food wisdom, for modern times

Hello world! September 23, 2011

Filed under: General — Isabel @ 10:14 am

Once Upon a Cook…..food wisdom, better living.   Let the story begin…..

A Cook’s Quest

Once upon a time there was an obsessive Cook who was passionate about creating  food with the  ‘mmm’  factor.

Daily, she strove  to make each meal the best it could possibly be, yet yearned to learn more about ingredients and how to use them imaginatively.  As the years passed, the Cook’s thirst for culinary knowledge grew and so it was that her quest took her to Ireland, where she sought inspiration from a respected Irish Goddess, under whose guidance she learned about and worked with home-grown and organic produce, and discovering the fabulous flavours that could be got from ‘field to fork’. Flavours that come only from using good eggs and milk,  ‘proper’ slow-grown meats, traditionally crafted cheeses and breads, freshly grown vegetables, herbs and salads. Flavours that brought back childhood memories and could not be found any supermarket.

The respected Irish Goddess honed the Cook’s skills and nurtured her respect for good ingredients, bestowing upon her an indelible taste-memory.

Upon her return to the real world, she found she could no longer endure the impoverished supermarket offerings and so embarked on searching Warwickshire for the real deal.  She scoured farm shops and farmers markets,  sought out food festivals and stopped at road-side “honesty” stalls.  Her questions led local butchers and fishmongers to scratch their heads.

In time, the Cook found that sourcing “good” ingredients could be very costly (and used a lot of petrol), and so she came to create her own vegetable and herb garden and nurtured an aspiration to own a few hens and a pig or two. Perhaps, in time, a goat?

From these roots grew Once Upon a Cook – a quest to share  passion,  knowledge and creativity and to offer others the opportunity of experiencing, and learning to cook,  healthy, delicious and nutritious food.

Food like it should be…like it used to be…like it has a right to be.

And so it came to pass that the Cook’s quest became a blog – sharing with others tales of taste and food wisdom, for modern times.

And, since this is  a food blog,  here’s a little recipe:



What you’ll need:

One obsessive cook/new grower

One new house with large veg plot

Much enthusiasm

Much compost

Many packets of seeds (assorted)

Plenty of water


What you’ll do:

1.  Take the first ingredient and place it in the second.

2.  Stir with enthusiasm until well combined.

3.  Add compost, sow all the seeds at once and water well.

4.  Wait and hope.

What you’ll get:

A summer of several dozen lettuces; half a ton of radishes; a couple of  barrowfuls of rocket and spinach. All at once.

Moreover,  well-meaning new neighbours will generously gift several barrels of their Bramleys,  a bath full of Victorias and the entire contents of their damson tree. And then there’ll be the blackberries in the lane….it’s got to be done.

Keen but clueless, I planted way too much of everything (yes…. I now know about succession sowing) and oh boy during the summer did we munch, and munch, and munch with determination!

And now folks…….it’s Beetroot and Bean Time!  Lots and lots of beetroot and many, many hundreds of runner beans.

It’s exhausting my mind and body with the effort of creating new and exciting recipes for pickling/ jamming/ stewing/ steaming/ baking/roasting and generally off-loading the produce.  Family and friends’ initial gratitude for my random acts of kindness, has become an imploring: “thank you, thank you but please,  NO MORE BEANS!”

However, the beetroot and beans still beckon and, luckily, I do have lots and lots of cookery books for inspiration. And, I have my trusty Google.

So, half an hour ago I settled down with the laptop and a cup of coffee, looking for beetrooty inspiration (mmm…must say, beetroot and orange chutney sounds a bit nice), and interesting possibilities for runner beans (…a curry… maybe?).

In my quest I innocently followed – as you do –  a link here and clicked on an icon there.  It now appears, somehow,  that a Cook and Unknown Googler has become a Food Blogger@onceuponacook.wordpress.com saying “hello” to the world!

How has this happened?  Where will it all end?

I blame the beans! x